School bus driver pleads guilty to manslaughter

Willie Leonberger, 78, waits for his case to be called in Callaway County Circuit Court.

Willie Leonberger, 78, waits for his case to be called in Callaway County Circuit Court. Photo by Don Norfleet.

Willie Leonberger, 78, Auxvasse, pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary second-degree manslaughter after he was accused last January of running over and killing a North Callaway School student with a school bus he was driving.

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Leonberger appeared in Callaway County Circuit Court for arraignment Monday before Circuit Judge Christine Carpenter.

Three days earlier, Leonberger was bound over to Circuit Court after he had appeared before Associate Circuit Court Judge Carol England. On Friday, Leonberger had waived his preliminary hearing in Associate Circuit Court.

Carpenter ordered a pre-sentence assessment report to be prepared by Jan. 10, 2012. She then set a court hearing for final disposition of the case on Jan. 18, 2012.

Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson asked the judge to impose some sort of sentence, but left the decision on the disposition of the case to the discretion of the judge.

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